Resolving a Dispute with a Commercial Landlord

If you are renting a commercial property and you run into a dispute with the landlord, it is best to seek expert legal advice straightaway. This will allow you to establish the rights and responsibilities of each party, as well as the options available to you.

Examining the commercial lease
When an issue arises between a commercial landlord and tenant, the first step should be to review the terms of the lease. As long as the lease has been drawn up properly, it should clarify the rights and obligations of both the landlord and the tenant.

This will be a major factor in determining which party is ‘in the right’. Do not forget that a commercial lease is a contract which you have entered into. If either person breaks the terms of the lease, they are breaching the contract and are likely to be at fault.

There are of course exceptions to this. For example, the tenant may only have breached the terms of the contract because the landlord acted unlawfully. But it will take a legal expert to understand when these exceptions apply.

Furthermore, the wording of commercial leases can often be technical, making them difficult to interpret. Then there is the possibility that a commercial lease was not drawn up at all, or was poorly drafted.

Ask a business lawyer for help
Because of all this, it is sometimes easier to ask a business lawyer to assess the situation. A business lawyer can review the terms of the commercial lease (if there is one) and will consider the contract in relation to the actions of each party, and the law in British Columbia.

A business lawyer can then recommend the best way forward. This advice will surely be appreciated, as you will not want to pursue the matter if you do not have a legal case.

If you do wish to pursue the matter, the best way to resolve the dispute is through negotiation. This will be the quickest and most cost-effective approach and will limit the ill will between the parties.

A business lawyer who deals with commercial leases will be able to negotiate the issue on your behalf. It is often best to negotiate via a third party, as it can be difficult to remain amiable when so much is at stake.

The other major advantage of using a business lawyer is that your case will be argued by a legal expert. This will add strength and authority to your case and is sometimes enough to prompt the other side to back down completely.

Other options
If negotiation does not prove to be successful, there are other options open to you. Again, a business lawyer can advise what would be most appropriate in your case, but may involve the route of dispute resolution or litigation.

Contact us
If you have encountered a problem with your commercial landlord, please do not hesitate to reach out to our business lawyers to find out what you can do. Contact us today at North Shore LLP.

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